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Airports and Secret Legislation

by Migeru Sat Sep 8th, 2007 at 05:53:18 AM EST

On the last day of August, over at Escolar's blog, I found a hair-raising article detailing the EU's internal decision-making process leading to the adoption of the infamous ban on carrying liquids in airplanes.

The author of the article is Ignasi Guardans, a Spanish MEP from the right-liberal Catalan nationalist party Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya, in Spain a member of the coalition CiU and in Europe a member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR) and the European Parliament group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) (see my earlier diary on European Political Parties).

I have obtained written permission from Mr. Guardans' office to translate the article in full here on ET. They have also approved the translation itself. The article was originally published in Spanish in El Periódico de Catalunya on June 11, 2007.

Promoted by Colman


AIRPORTS AND SECRET LEGISLATION by Ignasi Guardans MEPAEROPUERTOS Y LEGISLACION SECRETA por el Eurodiputado Ignasi Guardans
Wednesday, 30 august 2006. A group of air security experts are meeting on the top floor of a Brussels building. They have different professional biographies, one has worked around the world, the other only lived outside his own country while attending some training courses. But they all know the latest model of X-ray screen available on the market, and have firm opinions on what the best method is to evacuate an airport. In attendance on the part of Spain is a technician from the ministry of public works. Together they make up the so-called Committee on Civil Aviation Security, created in 2002 to ease the Commission's work in applying the security regulations.Miércoles, 30 de agosto del 2006. Un grupo de expertos en seguridad aérea están reunidos en la planta alta de un edificio de Bruselas. Tienen biografías profesionales distintas, uno ha trabajado en medio mundo, el otro solo vivió fuera de su país durante unos cursos de formación. Pero todos conocen el último modelo de pantalla de rayos X que hay en el mercado, y tienen opiniones firmes sobre cuál es el mejor método para desalojar con urgencia un aeropuerto. Por parte de España asiste un técnico del Ministerio de Fomento. Juntos integran el llamado Comité de Seguridad de la Aviación Civil, creado en el 2002 para facilitar su trabajo a la Comisión en la aplicación de la normativa de seguridad.
The meeting is behind closed doors. The minutes will be confidential. On the agenda, a single item: the United Kingdom's request to extend to the whole EU the ban on liquids in plane cabins, after the uncovering of an alleged plot, the details of which are also secret. The conclusion is double: liquid explosives cannot be detected with current equipment, and it would be difficult to ban every liquid on an airplane. Maybe, only maybe, with other systems it might be possible, but it is too expensive. There's only room for reducing the risk to a level deemed acceptable. Someone proposes to follow what Americans have already tried: 100 ml containers up to a maximum of 500 ml in little transparent bags.LA REUNIÓN se celebra a puerta cerrada. El acta será confidencial. En la agenda, un solo punto: la petición del Reino Unido de extender a toda la UE la prohibición de líquidos en las cabinas de los aviones, tras el descubrimiento de un supuesto complot cuyos detalles son también secretos. La conclusión es doble: no se pueden detectar los explosivos líquidos con los actuales equipos, y difícilmente se puede prohibir cualquier líquido en un avión. Quizá, solo quizá, con otros sistemas sí se pueda, pero es muy caro. Tan solo cabe reducir el riesgo hasta un límite que se estima aceptable. Alguien propone seguir lo que ya han probado los americanos: envases de 100 ml hasta un máximo de 500 ml en bolsitas transparentes.
On September 27, the Committee meets again, and by majority vote (with several votes against) approves a listing of bans and a few exceptions. They also allow themselves to define what they understand by "liquids", in an open list. They are not legal scholars, they go to the important things: why make their own lives difficult with precisions and nuances? That very day, a simple exchage of letters with the president of the European Parliament's Transport Committee, with no vote, lends a democratic veneer to the text. And on October 4, the proposal is approved among the items not subject to debate by the College of Commissioners, becoming the secret appendix to Rule 1546/2006.El 27 de septiembre, el Comité se reúne de nuevo, y por mayoría (con varios votos en contra) aprueba un listado de prohibiciones y unas pocas excepciones. También se permiten definir qué entienden por "líquidos", en una lista abierta. No son juristas, ellos van a lo importante, al grano: ¿para qué complicarse la vida con precisiones y matices? Ese mismo día, un simple intercambio de cartas con el presidente de la Comisión de Transportes del Parlamento Europeo, sin votación alguna, da un barniz democrático al texto. Y el 4 de octubre, la propuesta queda aprobada entre los puntos sin debate por el Colegio de Comisarios, convertida en el anexo secreto del Reglamento 1546/2006.
In barely five working days a norm directly applicable at all airports in Europe has been approved. The same norm behind the many questions and contradictions that have made its application an example of chaos and arbitrariness at thousands of control points. Rules with no legal rigour, of dubious legitimacy, not known directly, but only through explanatory leaflets. No court will be able to examine them either, as they have a confidential character.En apenas cinco días hábiles se ha aprobado una norma directamente aplicable en todos los aeropuertos de Europa. La misma que está detrás de los múltiples interrogantes y contradicciones que han hecho de su aplicación un ejemplo de caos y arbitrariedad en miles de puestos de control. Reglas sin rigor jurídico, de legitimidad dudosa, que no se conocen directamente, solo a través de folletos explicativos. Tampoco las podrá examinar ningún tribunal, al tener carácter confidencial.
Can anyone imagine a similar situation in other parts of our legal system? It's technocracy in its purest meaning. But one can always learn. From now on, the Criminal Code can be modified by civil servants from the Office of the Attorney General, traffic rules and penalties can be approved by experts from the Directorate General for Traffic, and they will give us a summary in advertising pamphlets. Why do we need all these Parliaments, all these amendments, all these
votes, all these public processes, all these second or third readings of projects, all these consultations? Let those who know rule us by decree!
¿Alguien imagina una situación similar en otros ámbitos de nuestro sistema jurídico? Es la tecnocracia en su sentido más puro. Pero siempre se puede aprender. A partir de ahora, el Código Penal lo pueden modificar los funcionarios de la Fiscalía General, las leyes de circulación y sus sanciones las pueden aprobar los técnicos de la DGT, y ya nos resumirán su contenido en impresos publicitarios. ¿Para qué necesitamos tanto Parlamento, tanta enmienda, tanta votación, tanto trámite público, tanta segunda o tercera lectura de los proyectos, tanta consulta? ¡Dejemos que nos gobiernen los que saben a golpe de decreto!
At stake is the very legitimacy of the Law that is sometimes imposed on us from the EU. I think I am not suspect of lacking pro-European convictions. And precisely for that reason I believe it is necessary to clearly denounce these things. Even if it is a complex matter. Because it is this very complexity that allows the hiding of decisions and methods which, like gangrene, is seriously damaging the system's democracy.Está en juego la legitimidad misma del Derecho que se nos impone a veces desde la UE. Creo no ser sospechoso de falta de convicción europeísta. Y precisamente por ello creo que es necesario denunciar las cosas con claridad. Aunque sea una materia compleja. Porque es esa misma complejidad la que permite ocultar decisiones y métodos que, como la gangrena, están dañando seriamente la democracia del sistema.
At the root is a perverse mechanism unknown to a majority of readers: commitology. I encourage you to google "commitology". You will see I didn't invent it, awful as it sounds. What started out as a consultation mechanism to improve the process of carrying out regulations is becoming in certain cases a quick system to legislate without accountability to anyone or anything. And, the more complex the matter, the more there is impunity.En la raíz está la perversión de un mecanismo que la inmensa mayoría de los lectores ignora: la comitología. Les animo a ir a Google: "comitología". Verán que no lo he inventado, aunque suene mal. Lo que nació como un mecanismo de consulta para mejorar los procesos de ejecución de las normas se está convirtiendo en algunos casos en un sistema rápido para legislar sin rendir cuentas ante nada y ante nadie. Y, cuanto más compleja es la materia, mayor es la impunidad.
Today, a group of people nobody knows, meeting with no publicity, and who are not politically accountable to anyone, have imposed on us rules we are forced to tamely comply with in order to watch over our safety. And tomorrow? What is in store for us tomorrow? It is amusing (or depressing, depending on the day) that when asking Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot, aware that he did not have the authority to approve what he has approved, he responds cynically that "the measures contemplated by this regulation were approved by the member states and the Parliament in accordance with the established procedures". I have already told you how. Look for minutes or official journals where the minister of Public Works has debated with her colleagues or before the Congress what a civil servant accepted in the name of our country. You will not find it. In Madrid they will tell you this is imposed by Europe. And in Brussels they will tell you that without the agreement of Madrid, Paris or Berlin or Prague they would have been unable to approve it. And meanwhile, everyone must obey without questioning, and our democracy  and our European ideals are each day a bit poorer, each day a bit weaker.HOY, UN GRUPO de personas que nadie conoce, reunidas sin publicidad, y que ante nadie responden políticamente, nos han impuesto unas reglas que estamos obligados a acatar dócilmente para velar por nuestra seguridad. ¿Y mañana? ¿Qué nos espera mañana? Tiene gracia (o deprime, según el día) que cuando se le pregunta al comisario de Transportes, Jacques Barrot, consciente de que él no tenía la autoridad para aprobar lo que ha aprobado, responda con cinismo que "las medidas que contempla este reglamento fueron aprobadas por los estados miembros y por el Parlamento con arreglo a los procedimientos en vigor". Ya les he contado cómo. Busquen actas o diarios de sesiones donde la ministra de Fomento haya debatido con sus colegas o en el Congreso lo que un funcionario de su departamento aceptó en nombre de nuestro país. No lo encontrarán. En Madrid les dirán que esto lo impone Europa. Y en Bruselas les dirán que sin el consentimiento de Madrid, París o Berlín o Praga no lo habrían podido aprobar. Y, entre tanto, todos a obedecer sin preguntar, y nuestra democracia y nuestros ideales europeos cada día un poco más pobres, cada día un poco más débiles.

Display:
For Mr. Guardans, his staffer Mireia Domènech, and Ignacio Escolar.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 01:26:53 PM EST
And I think it deserves a fP? :)...

It is compulsory reading.. specially given the effort it took....

I have added how you would put guardans in the political spectrum ina comment....

In any case he is a hard-core pro_european... above everything else.

A pleasure...

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 06:55:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Effort? What it took is patience, as Guardans & Co were busy with the EP plenary session for most of the week.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 07:28:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kindly provided by the Office of Mr. Guardans.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 01:30:16 PM EST
Financial Times: Policy limiting liquids on aircraft challenged (September 6 2007)
European legislators called for a review of the continent's anti-terrorism policies yesterday, including the scrapping of limits on taking liquids on board aircraft.

While Franco Frattini, the justice commissioner, hailed arrests in Germany and Denmark as a "fantastic result" that proved the value of the European Union's actions since the September 11 2001 attacks, the European parliament rounded on him for trampling on civil liberties and presiding over mismatched legal measures.

MEPs also voted to force the European Commission to publish the secret regulation limiting air passengers to five 100ml bottles of fluid, which has increased queues at airports, saying that unless it had a valid reason it should be scrapped.



Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 01:33:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I note that Mr Guardans has somehow become 'Italian.' Good old FT ...

So why the F-prompt can't they even publish these regulations? Anyone?

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Sep 10th, 2007 at 09:25:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We'll soon find out
If the Commission does not comply within three months it can be taken to the European Court of Justice.
I suspect the reason will be something like "Blah blah national security blah blah".

I'm writing to the FT to correct the howler about Mr. Guardans.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 10th, 2007 at 09:41:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
El Pais: La Eurocámara pide que se pueda subir a los aviones con líquidos (06/09/2007)El Pais: The European Parliament demands that liquids be allowed on planes (06/09/2007)
El agua de Lourdes seguirá sin poder ser transportada a mano por los peregrinos de la línea aérea creada por el Vaticano, después de que ayer la Comisión Europea hiciera oídos sordos a la petición del Parlamento Europeo de relajar o derogar las medidas que restringen drásticamente el transporte de líquidos, geles y sustancias semejantes en las cabinas de los aviones. "Una derogación sin alternativa supondría un riesgo que no estoy dispuesto a hacer correr a los pasajeros", indicó en un comunicado el comisario de Transportes, Jacques Barrot. "Y tampoco quiero asumir el riesgo de exponer al sector aéreo a las consecuencias económicas de un atentado".Holy water from Lourdes will still be banned from being transported in pilgrims' hand luggage on the Vatican's airline, after the European Commission yesterday lent a deaf ear to teh demand by teh European Parliament to relax or repeal the measures severely restricting the carrying of liquids, gels or similar substances in plane cabins. "A repeal without an alternative would imply a risk that I am not prepared to make passengers take", stated Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot in a communication. "And I also don't want to take the risk of exposing the air transport sector to the economic consequences of an attack [by terrorists]".
......
El eurodiputado español Ignasi Guardans (CiU), punta de lanza de los críticos, insistía ayer en que diversos expertos han mostrado en audiencias en la Eurocámara la imposibilidad de detectar explosivos líquidos con los escáneres. Pero Barrot -apoyado, entre otros, por los socialistas y populares españoles- no acepta el argumento.The Spanish MEP Ignasi Guardans (CiU), spearheading the critics, insisted yesterday that various experts have shown in hearings before the EP that it is impossible to detect liquids with X-ray scanners. But Barrot—supported, among others, by the Spanish Socialists and People's Party—does not accept the argument.


Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 01:45:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry to deviate from your serious subject, but the story of the confiscated water from Lourdes, reminds me of a small amusing story.  My parents in law were touring Europe in the 1970s and stopped in Britain to visit my wife, 4 yrs old daughter, and I during one leg of their trip. My mother-in-law, a devout Catholic, had obtained a bottle of the famous water from Lourdes for her mother, an even more devout Catholic, and left it with us while she visited the British Museum.  Our most unholy 4 yr old discovered the water and played with it until the container was empty.  Upon discovering this horror my wife asked her father, an atheist, what to do.  He instructed her to refill the container with tap water and forget the whole thing. She did and everyone was happy - Catholics and atheists alike.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Sep 8th, 2007 at 10:02:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice!
Of course what we atheists fail to comprehend is the power of belief. :) (Luke 8:40 or thereabouts.)

(Was this before they started adding flouride? Surely that would have been detected.)


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Sep 10th, 2007 at 09:02:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Detected by whom?

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Tue Sep 11th, 2007 at 02:35:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Irish Times: MEPs call for end of rule limiting liquids on aircraft (September 6, 2007)
MEPs have called on the European Commission to abolish the anti-terrorism rules which restrict the amount of liquids airline passengers can carry in their hand luggage.
Behind subscription wall.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 01:47:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great work Mig. What I'd like to know is where the UK government got its ideas about liquid explosives from ? what liquid explosives ? I know next to nothing about chemistry and less about explosive technology, but I'm sure I read a lot of informed comment that suggested that binary liquid explosives are the stuff of Hollywood fantasy. So the whole liquid thing is entirely bogus.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 01:54:35 PM EST
The article claims
Someone proposes to follow what Americans have already tried: 100 ml containers up to a maximum of 500 ml in little transparent bags.
I take that as a suggestion that the nonsense originated in the US.

As for the feasibility of using liquid explosives...

The Register: Mass murder in the skies: was the plot feasible?

Binary liquid explosives are a sexy staple of Hollywood thrillers. It would be tedious to enumerate the movie terrorists who've employed relatively harmless liquids that, when mixed, immediately rain destruction upon an innocent populace, like the seven angels of God's wrath pouring out their bowls full of pestilence and pain.

...

Now we have news of the recent, supposedly real-world, terrorist plot to destroy commercial airplanes by smuggling onboard the benign precursors to a deadly explosive, and mixing up a batch of liquid death in the lavatories. So, The Register has got to ask, were these guys for real, or have they, and the counterterrorist officials supposedly protecting us, been watching too many action movies?

...

So the fabled binary liquid explosive - that is, the sudden mixing of hydrogen peroxide and acetone with sulfuric acid to create a plane-killing explosion, is out of the question. Meanwhile, making TATP ahead of time carries a risk that the mission will fail due to premature detonation, although it is the only plausible approach.



Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 02:07:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beat me to it.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 02:16:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure.  The US didn't ban liquids on planes until after the UK did.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 02:16:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm too lazy to dig up links but the American MSM even pointed out the ridiculousness of this threat when the ban was first enacted.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 05:28:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if you guys can establish that it means that either the account of the secret committee meeting that enacted the ban is flawed, or whoever proposed the liquids ban was either lying or an idiot.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 05:37:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have always thought it was a move by the airlines and soda vendors to sell more drinks on planes, by preventing people from bringing a bottle of juice or water with them.

tip:  if you must fly -- which I wish everyone would stop doing except for emergencies -- then bring celery and carrots.  they haven't banned vegetables on planes yet.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 06:09:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they're properly trained against that



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 06:31:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have always thought it was a move by the airlines and soda vendors to sell more drinks on planes, by preventing people from bringing a bottle of juice or water with them.

You can bring as much water as you like on a plane, as long as you buy it in the secure area after the security check. (And it doesn't take up your neighbour's seat in the air.)

So yes - very possibly. But I'd wonder if there was a trade-off between extra soda sales and lower flight numbers. Some people still aren't happy about the ban, and it's a huge inconvenience for anyone travelling with a baby.

they haven't banned vegetables on planes yet.

Especially not on Air Force One.

(Or in the Oval Office.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 9th, 2007 at 07:03:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not always . . . some airports, like Bangkok's new international, have no shopping within the secure area.  Some small airlines (Air Asia, for example) expressly prohibit all outside food or drink - they don't offer any drink or meal service, but do have a trolley from which you can buy snacks and drinks.
by Zwackus on Sun Sep 9th, 2007 at 07:31:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"...You can bring as much water as you like on a plane, as long as you buy it in the secure area after the security check."

Not in Hong Kong 2 weeks ago. I had water confiscated going into the (so-called) secure area. I bought more. This was then confiscated in the jetway, near the door of the aircraft.

Next up: stomach pumps.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 07:53:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's an article about the reality of the liquid explosive claim.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 02:15:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The whole thing is a Hollywood fantasy!  

To make real explosives is slightly difficult.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 07:23:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The police are idiots. Bureaucrats are idiots.

I doubt anyone involved in this had any background at all in chemistry.

Although I'll add a small nitpick about the Reg article - it's very easy to get 9% peroxide (at least it is where I live), which would make the concentration stage simpler.

That doesn't, however, make the rest of the 'plot' any more believable.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 9th, 2007 at 07:10:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is the European Union's saving grace. Where would we be without it?

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 02:45:06 PM EST
I've long stated that the European project will never be properly understood by the general populace until the European Parliament gets more time on the national  news bulletins.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 03:55:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why the only thing the news media pay attention to is the quarterly summits of Heads of State or Government.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 04:17:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
other than that the only way the EP gets on the TV is if there's a fight.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 04:20:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so, who is going to introduce a regular feature for the Salon?
by PeWi on Sat Sep 8th, 2007 at 06:24:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm bringing my EU review back from the grave starting this weekend.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 8th, 2007 at 06:26:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep.

And the only meaningful change (beyond the small matter of giving political legitimacy to the EU) brought about by the European Constitution was to give more decision power to the European Parliament.

Yet for some reason, the lefties are happy with the outcome of the "non" vote.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 05:24:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL
by Laurent GUERBY on Sat Sep 8th, 2007 at 06:30:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. Our "last, best hope". (I think Abraham Lincoln said it but I'm not sure.)

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Sep 10th, 2007 at 09:11:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Fear of Freedom" (UK), "Escape from Freedom" (US),1941; "La peur de la liberté", 1963; "Die Furcht vor der Freiheit", 1966; "El miedo a la libertad", is one of the most famous books by psychoanalyst and social theorist Erich Fromm. It was published in 1941 by Routledge (UK) and explores the changing relationship humanity has had with the concept of freedom in the course of history. I think we have to read again.
by PliniusVetus on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 06:17:33 PM EST
I love that book.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 06:18:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that the one you were once telling me about that suggests people actually wish to be enslaved?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 06:19:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think one of the central theses of the book is that when a new freedom is gained some measure of security is lost and there can be a backlash as society attempts to restore the lost security, unsuccessfully because liberties, once gained, are hard to lose.

I don't recall putting is as bluntly as "people want to be enslaved", but if you had to summarise the argument in 5 words I guess that would work.

A book about people who want to be enslaved is Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians which is available online as a PDF and has been discussed before on ET.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 06:24:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Altemeyer is a must read. It's short and he has a nicely irreverent style. (You can do it in a few hours - maybe a day if you're reading at work. :) )

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Sep 10th, 2007 at 09:13:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One note
Mr guardans would be considered a dangerous left-wing wacko in the US.

In Catalan terms he is certianly center-right (not right.. he is from the old social-democrats and social christians....) and on the left on certain issues.. this is why it is generally so liked...

But in US a left-wing wacko... in euroepan terms I would say that he is defintely ont he center-left....UIn spanish term he is just the example and the typical midlle-man that Broderism would love.... in catalonia... center-right..

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 06:54:10 PM EST
Interesting that you feel the need to defend Mr. Guardans against my "accusation" that he's a right-liberal nationalist. That describes Dear leader, too, LOL

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 8th, 2007 at 03:18:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well..a ctually CIU is a center-right party with some nonliberla elements... he is clearly int he liberal front.. and strongly pro Eurpena.. and certainly in general euroepan terms.. hes is on th center-left of the spectrum... (not to mention US spectrum).

a pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat Sep 8th, 2007 at 10:41:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In European terms, I'm going with Convergencia = Liberal, Unio = Christian Democrat, CiU = Regionalist.

Guardans could be a left-liberal nationalist and CiU would fit two out of three ;-)

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 8th, 2007 at 12:03:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just another voice in the chorus saying "Many thanks for this!"

(Commitology seems to be worthy of study in itself.)


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Sep 10th, 2007 at 09:36:33 AM EST


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